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Back to Panel Details
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Policy Implementation in the EU: Delivering Services to Citizens?

Civil Society
European Politics
Local Government
Decision Making
Policy Implementation
P274
Bernard Steunenberg
Departments of Political Science and Public Administration, Universiteit Leiden
Asya Zhelyazkova
Department of Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Christian Adam
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – LMU
European Union

Friday 17:40 - 19:20 (08/09/2017)

Building: BL09 Eilert Sundts hus, A-Blokka Floor: 1 Room: ES AUD6

Abstract

It is an established view that the impact of the European Union on its citizens depends on the implementation of EU policies in domestic settings. Whereas many studies have investigated member states’ compliance with EU law, there is limited understanding of how the EU policies affect domestic actors, especially street-level bureaucrats, and lead to different national policy outcomes. To bridge this research gap, the papers in this panel adopt a broad perspective of policy implementation in the EU that goes beyond existing ideas about member states’ compliance with EU law. First, we acknowledge that policy implementation is shaped by various EU and domestic actors including national, regional and local governments, and their frontline implementers. National implementers do not ‘blindly’ follow the EU guidelines, but the implementation process reflects their views about societal legitimacy, and the appropriateness of EU policy. In turn, their output, related to the EU policy, determines public services and directly affects citizens EU policy can even affect citizens in countries that are not members of the EU (e.g., Switzerland, Iceland, Norway), but where national implementers have nevertheless chosen to implement at least some EU provisions. The interactions between EU policy-makers, national, regional and/or local governments, and their frontline implementers, shape the way in which citizens will experience ‘European policy’. Second, the diversity of implementation outcomes cannot simply be captured in the distinction between compliant and non-compliant implementation, as suggested by international relations and transposition literature. Frontline implementers could oppose EU policies, even if national governments have adopted EU-conforming national legislation (decoupled implementation). Conversely, frontline implementers could introduce EU policies informally, if national policy-makers have failed to adopt relevant transposing legislation that meets the EU requirements. Furthermore, implementation could have consequences for citizens that were not foreseen by the EU policy-makers at the legislative stage. Consequently, unexpected but also undesired policy effects could lead to reviewing and amendments to EU legislation indicating that the interaction between the EU and national context is reciprocal. By analyzing the diverse effects of EU policy on national and subnational implementers, policy outcomes and citizens, this panel seeks to provide new insights about the implementation of EU policy.

Title Details
David and Goliath of EU Urban Agenda: Taking Stock of EU Local Implementation View Paper Details
Knowing How to Make European Policies Work: Administrative Expertise and the Practical Implementation of EU Waste Shipment Regulations View Paper Details
Differentiated Integration or Differentiated Implementation? Application to EU Immigration Policy View Paper Details
The Politics of Unexpected Consequences: European Wage Competition through the Posting of Workers Directive View Paper Details
Explaining the Willingness to Implement EU Migration Law amongst Dutch and German Migration Law Implementers: A Matter of Shared or Individual Attitudes? View Paper Details